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tv   Mosaic  CBS  December 16, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PST

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what are some of the things you would say about advent? >> you're asking me if you know nothing about this whole christmas season. what is important. let's start out with the basics. it begins advent it means to come or anticipate the arrival of the caesar or something like this. and then it goes from the 30th to st. andrews day and goes right up to christmas eve and then you go into christmas season. four sundays. used to be five. but back in the sixth century one of the popes said that is too long. so it goes from the 30th of november up to christmas eve. >> that is advent. i see. so it's a time of arrival coming preparation.
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>> the color is purple. now going to royal blue. anticipating of the kingship of christ. three things. one is about some dread. it's dark. it's cold. you are supposed to reflect inward. when you reflect inward you say what if god comes and kaboom? it's also in this time of stillness and preparation but at the core of it advent is a time of hope. that is the expectation. that is the four sunday's theme. >> hope and joy and love and i think peace is at the end. >> peace is at the end. candles. this is an interesting thing. there is a wreath in most
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churches now. and there are three purple candles and one pink one i think. this is sort of a new thing that has caught on. each candle you light an advent wreath. now the wreath goes back to it's always scandinavians and germans. they came up with the circular wreath made of bows and then they would light candles in the darkness of winter, the symbol of the coming of the light. and martin luther lutheran founder in 1500 picked up on this idea of the wreath which is circular meaning eternity. and so it kind of got brought into the now all of the christian observances. each sunday in advent you light a candle. you may remember what each one is but i don't. >> i read that martin luther preached on christmas more than
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any other time. all of the sermons were on christmas. he loved it even more so than you. >> the lutheran's kept up this idea of going to church on christmas day. and really in form to get ahead. at least the presbyter -- presbyterians really didn't go to church they would do the old custom of go and shoot rifles and set you have fire crackers. it was really the lutherans along with roman catholic mass which is where we get christmas, christ, mass. once again lutherans are leading the way here. i won't comment on united methodist. >> this is a great introduction. let's come back to more traditions and understanding of advent christmas. please join us with hugh barrels advent christmas season. ,,,,,,,,
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welcome back to moe sayic. i asked hugh about the colors again. i'm wearing purple. what about purple and blue? >> purple and blue. we're talking about if you don't know anything at all about church and you go in and there on the pope and the come union table or the alter the color has been purple. and it was about the coming of royalty. now in the past couple of decades people most churches are shifting over to royal blue for lint. lint is fasting. advent becoming more a season of the anticipation of the coming of the light of christ with the advent wreath we talked about.
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so purple or blue. and then our christmas eve you go to white. >> okay. i think that is good. i think i got some blue for the first time. i was surprise my congregation with blue. now when we get down to those four sundays of preparation. why was it four sundays? why not go into christmas? >> well, it was just in some ways made up. but the basic movement of it was christmas was originally celebrated in the east in the orthodox church because we have to remember there is the catholic west and the orthodox east on january 6th. and january 6th was the baptism of the lord as well as the birth date and so they combined these things and then during the coming of the western church, things began to move to the 25th of december.
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so let's get the christmas celebration and then we'll back up to the advent celebration. the christmas celebration moved to the 25th of december some time around the year 400. and the line that you get there is the roman emperor. purse cuted christians up to 300. which suddenly christianity instead of being oppressed became the religion of the empire. at the same time he moved everything east and started this new town con staff noble now istanbul and they celebrated on the sixth. celebrated christmas then along with the baptism. and then the west when it began to divide and dividing by 480
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and catholic west picked up the 25th of december. there are a couple of theories on that. one of them is that there was a becomal that the romans had on the 25th that the church consumed that. that is kind of iffy. but there was a guy that also claiming to be a christ and his deal was light. children of light and children of darkness. part of that was the lighting of candles on the 25th to symbolize the coming of the light. this was backed up of course by the jewish festivals where you take the light and put it to your eyes. and so it was decided to move to the 25th namely to. and the donuts were persecuted and some of the priests turned the people in and they got into
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an argue the and said -- argument and said no no you turned us in. so they were separate but they had celebrated christmas on december 25th for as long as anybody can remember. so you had two traditions, one in the eastern church on the sixth of january. and one on the western church on the 25th. and so that brings us to the 12 days of christmas from the 25th to the 6th. and the 12 days of christmas i think is an interesting story. you know the song seven -- something lords of leaping. >> right. >> the history of that is it came out of england and came when the roman catholics were being oppressed. and so they still wanted to note the 12 feast days but had to do it in code. they made up this song that we
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all sing. >> that is interesting. >> that is the story. but advent is what you ask about and it seems to simply have appeared in the middle of the fourth century and adopted at the time of fasting and preparation. maybe because there wasn't much food around. but why is four rather than five and not 40 days? nobody seems to know. >> when you mentioned light i had dr. matthew fox on last month. we talked about hildigard the 12th century saint. and she mentioned light being the key to -- what she felt was the key to the spiritual. the light of the world. and christ came to light up every person that comes into the world. and so that is key to this whole midst in the darkness. the light comes. >> that is what martin luther particularly brought in to the main line prod stent tradition.
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i guess we could talk a little bit about christmas tree and gift giving. do you want to go into that now? >> yeah. we'll take a break now and then come back. you know doing moe sayic -- mosaic all this time there are four breaks. four advent. [ laughter ] come back with us and please join us as we continue the advent christmas season with dr. hugh barrel.
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if you've been with us you have found out a lot about advent and christmas. i know i'm talking about some things i did not know. what about st. nicholas and the gift giving? >> as we go down the checklist of things to remember about celebrating christmas and observance. so the story goes in the year
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1500 martin luther was walking home and it began to snow and he went through a small wood evergreen wood and he looked at the snow and looked at the stars and he said here this is like the glowing evergreen nature of christ. so he went in and got home and took his little hatchet kind of like a george washington story went down and chopped up the tree. went in and put it in there for his kids. and then he began to put candles on the tree. your idea of light. and so 1500 the lutherans in the north took this in and then they would decorate garlands of evergreen. we talk about the wreath was there. and in 1982 john paul ii actually put a christmas tree in st. peters tree. >> what year again? [ laughter ] >> 1992.
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what did i say? 1992. and so the christmas tree finally makes his way into even the heart of the roman catholic celebration. so that is very much a part of greenery, ever lasting gift giving is a little more obscure. the gift giving went back to the early days but we know by the year 1100 it was a real problem. christmas had become simplifying of gifts. one to another. so a fella you may remember called st. francis he said we have to refocus this on a religious holiday and so he came up with the idea of getting little figures of mary and joseph and all this stuff. but first of all he made them living manger scenes. i guess people got tired of being out in the dark and cold so they made little figure
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owns. but gift giving is attributed to again we have the west and the east. in the west st. nicholas. st. nicholas was attended at council in 325. he was very wealthy apparently. he tied shortly after that. but he was noted for the giving of gifts. he also brought people back to life. there is a famous story about three young monks that were traveling to some con crave and they stopped and they were murdered by the uncorruptous end keeper who cut them up and put them in the pickle jar. st. nicholas came out and brought the pieces out and restored them all. he's a giver of life and giver of gifts. and eastern church around the same time. the giver of gifts and that is usually done in early december
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i think december 6th was the date the both of them did it. then they began to shift again. we get this guy named martin luther coming in. he takes the old idea of lewis yeah in the scandinavian things. the young woman in the white robe with the crown and candles. and he appropriates that. brings it in and also takes a folklore kinder klaus the give of gifts. that is how we eventually get to santa claus. and santa claus becomes really big in the year 1832. not so much until then in the colon anies. then this guy sat down and read a poem. 'twas the night before
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christmas not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. this becomes the gift giving of santa claus. and so it just begins to accelerate and accelerate. and finally then you get the -- in the 30s during that depression you get songs you better -- you get these songs that build up the idea if you are bad or good and so it's a very, very recent sort of thing of the image of santa claus. now coming into the modern day of arriving at macy's on thanksgiving day. which is the real beginning now of the christmas season. that is quite a history. so any way. that is something about chris crinkle and santa claus and st.
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nicholas all bundled together as the gift giver. >> do you think that with all of that some of that history some people know and some of course are just learning like some of us are just hearing for the fist time. when it comes to trying to get the meaning and the reason for the season as they say how do you think that would be best conveyed? >> i think some people would say let's try to get to the true meaning of christmas. the true meaning of christmas. and my council is any way you can get into christmas is fine. if you can get in through the advent wreath and christmas tree and giving of gifts. if you can get into lighting of candles. whatever it is that gets you into the season of course i think we would council going to church. because it's not an individual thing. it's a collective thing. but rather than worry about
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well, what it is humbug and what is true i think just begin. just start. >> that is a great idea. >> wait and see this year what picks up. the biblical reading. to know those stories. what were people in ancient israel looking for? and what do they get? and there is a little bit of difference in that. >> we're in the second sunday of advent but last sunday i think the emphasis on john the baptist who prepared for the part of the advent and preparing for the christ to come. so i think as you say whatever gets you into the christmas the preparation. i like the idea. candles, lights, all of that. if it gets you to the christ. >> the san francisco symphony is a beautiful series during december. all kinds of christmas music. >> let's come back to the move
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for christmas. you do this with howard thurman. >> i think we can talk about howard thurman when we come back. >> okay. thank you for being with us. and i hope you're with us this last segment. some juice! woman: it's gonna be good! she's excited. little bit of kale. please don't put this online. woman: i'm putting it all over the line! it's wet. it needs something. no, it'll go. woman: don't break my juicer!
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looks good. you ready to try it? woman: come on, baby! announcer: challenge your kids to be active and eat healthy. it's ok. it's ok! all right! announcer: they might surprise you. she took another sip. you saw it? announcer: search "we can" for more ideas on how you and your kids can get healthy together.
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as we come to the end of our program back in august i interviewed dr. dorothy blake who is the pastor of church howard thurman's church that he founded back in 1944. he mentioned the mood of christmas. they do that every year around this time. and dr. hugh brought the new mood of christmas. >> the book is still available. howard thurman. ron and i were fortunate enough many moons ago to have a class
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by dr. thurman. an amazing african american pastor who could write. these are some things for you to consider when trying the true meaning of christmas. you won't forget to go to church on christmas eve of course. but here's a short poem. at christmas time, the tide flows out from the inner sea. at christmas time they find their way to many shores with gifts of remembrances, thoughts of love, though the world be weary and the days afraid, the heart renews its life and mind takes hope from the tides that flow from the inner sea at christmas time. thurman talking about advent as a time of preparation. and the person to begin with is you. and so that is the important thing. christmas returns as it always does with the assurance that life is good. it's a time to lift to the
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spirit. when the mind feels its way into the common place and senses the wonder of simple things. evergreen tree. familiar carols. it's a time of alum nation when candles burn and old dreams find their youth again. it's a time of pause when forgotten joys come back to mind and past dedications renew their claim. a time of harvest for the heart. love whisper its magic word to everything that breathes. i think that is pretty close to it. >> it is. i heard the word alum nation back to that light and the word became flesh. >> that's what it is. we have to remember that in the modern day americana christmas begins when santa arrives at
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macy's and usually ends at noon when all the gifts are unwrapped. but that is not really true. you go into football college bowl games leading up to the 6th. try to remember christmas in the christian tradition starts on christmas eve and runs 12 days to epiphany. and that epiphany is the return of the light and that is the celebration in the orthodox. it used to be christmas in the 25th so it's the 12 days of christmas that we can enjoy the whole season. we don't have to cram it in. >> this is my first christmas at any new church. and we have a big christmas eve service so you are invited. 7:30 on 1875 fairfield avenue. i'm looking forward to it. great choir. they are even doing a cd. so if you're in town, you're
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welcome to come. i might even have a word to say. even though they said the music is the most important thing. >> go to church during advent. get into the feel of the season. see what attracts you. >> thanks again. >> thank you, ron. so nice to see you. >> thank you for being with us. i'm ron swisher and you have been hearing hugh barrels elaborate on this great season advent christmas. go out and enjoy.
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